Running Warehouse banner

Trail Running Course

Clif Bar – More Than Just An Endurance Sports Energy Bar Company

[Disclosure: A few moths ago I received a Clif Bar package from the marketing firm Double Forte which contained a sampling of various Clif Bar products. With that being said, the comments and opinions below are purely my own.]

Clif Bar & Company – 5 Aspirations

  • Sustaining our Planet
  • Sustaining our Community
  • Sustaining our People
  • Sustaining our Business
  • Sustaining our Brands

If you haven’t noticed, Clif Bar has greatly increased their endurance fuel portfolio that provide many more options beyond the original flagship product – the Clif Bar.

Before we get into some of these new products, who is Clif anyways?

Clif Bar is Born

After a 175 mile bike ride in 1990, Gary Erickson (owner and founder) was awakened to the idea that he could make a better energy bar than the one he had been knawing on during his epic ride. After two years of testing in his mother’s kitchen, his endurance sports energy bar was born. In honor of his father, Clifford, it was called the Clif Bar.

Beyond the Products

Beyond the portfolio of endurance sports fuels, Clif Bar is involved in things beyond Clif Bar which I think is cool and needed within our society. I wasn’t even aware of most of this.

Here are a few of the impressive projects the company is involved with:

  • Offset Carbon-Dioxide Emissions into the Atmosphere:  When a Cool Tag is purchased Clif Bar invests $2 in NativeEnergy’s Windbuilder’s program. This money helps build the St. Francis Wind Farm in South Dakota thus delivering deliver clean, renewable energy to the grid. Each Cool Tag is estimated to keep 300 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air. What is 300 pounds of CO2? That’s about how much you would generate driving 300 miles in an average car. To read more or purchase a Cool Tag check out – Clif Bar – Cool Tag.
  • Clif Bar GreenNotes Project: GreenNotes supports emerging musicians – passionate about the environment in their own right – who may not yet have the resources, expertise, or funds to integrate environmentally friendly touring practices. A compilation album was also created that contains songs from 20 artists who proceeds (100%) go to organizations that are actively support the natural places we love to play in.
  • Clif 2 Mile Challenge: In the U.S., 40% of all urban travel happens within 2 miles of where people live. A personal challenge to once a week, bike that less than two mile trip. Get some exercise, fresh air, and reduce CO2 emissions.
  • 1% to the Planet partner: 1% of sales are given to environmental organizations working to protect the planet.
  • Energy Wrapper Brigade: To reduce the wrapper waste Clif Bar along with TerraCycle provides an absolutely free method for you to save/collect the wrappers and also earn money for a charity or school for every inner-foil wrapper collected. I had no idea there was such a thing.
  • Clif Bar Family Foundation: Our mission is to support nonprofits — grassroots organizations in particular — working to promote environmental restoration and conservation, sustainable food and agriculture, people’s health, and a wide range of social concerns.

New-er Clif Endurance Sports Fuels

A few things I like about Clif products:

  • 70% of all ingredients purchased are organic.
  • No artificial colors.
  • Created from ingredients that are not genetically engineered.

Most everyone knows about the Clif Bar, here are a few items you may not be aware of:


  • Clif Shot Bloks – The Bloks are square bite-sized carbohydrate/electrolyte chews. The texture is like a soft gummy bear and the flavor-zing is fairly mild. Some of the flavors also contain caffeine for those that desire that extra kick. Each tube-like package contains 200 calories worth of fuel.
  • Clif Shot Roks – The Roks are round bite-sized protein bites. The Roks are similar to a Clif Builder’s Bar but in bite-size portions. They also contain a natural covering so they won’t melt in your hand. Not only for recovery, I could see these being useful for those that like to add a bit of protein during their long course racing/training. Each package contains 270 calories and 20 grams of protein.
  • Clif Quench – A bottled liquid carbohydrate/electrolyte drink that contains 88% organic ingredients (sugar/carbohydrate source). No artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. The bottles are also made from 40% recycled plastic. Each 16 oz. bottle contains 90 calories. The flavors are very mild tasting with a slippery texture (if there is such a thing) which I assume is from the electrolytes.
  • Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit Rope – These are licorice-type sticks made from actual fruit. When my three year old son ate one, he said, “That was a delicious treat!”. I had to chuckle. Each Fruit Rope is 70 calories.

Some Thoughts

Clif has never made a product that I have tasted that didn’t taste great. All of the above new products are as tasty as can be. My son was the tester of the Fruit Rope but I sense a good review.

I am not a big fan of bottled carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks due to the significant packaging (bottle) and prefer powder products I mix with water and place into a reusable bottle. But with respect to bottled sports drinks, I am not aware of anything cleaner than the Clif Quench in this specific market.

Although the Clif products have high quality ingredients, various forms of sugar are a significant percentage of the calories so I would recommend eating whole food (fruits, seeds, nuts, etc) during your non-activity snacking hours and save the convenient endurance sports fuels for around those times you are working those muscles.

And always, try out in training before race day because each one of us has a unique stomach and fuel-type preferences (liquids, solids, etc.).

I have started to see the Clif Quench at grocery stores and many of the other Clif products can be found at your preferred endurance sports store.

Running Warehouse also has the Bloks, Roks, Shots(Gel), and Bar, which are available at solid pricing and will include an Endurance Buzz visitor discount inside your shopping cart. Simply click on the RW link to take a look. Purchasing through Running Warehouse will also help support the growth of this site.

Do You Want a Taste?


For those still paying attention, I have two Clif Bar gifts packs available for – you! To enter into the drawing, simply include a comment (valid email address) mentioning your latest running adventure. Then Friday morning, I will announce the winners and contact them by e-mail.

Share away!

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

11 Responses to “Clif Bar – More Than Just An Endurance Sports Energy Bar Company”

  1. on 23 Mar 2010 at 3:28 pm Dylan W

    My latest running adventure was running on Superior Trail up in Lutsen, MN. This is the same trail that brought me to your blog in the first place when I was looking for a recap of the Superior 50.

  2. on 23 Mar 2010 at 6:34 pm Patton

    My last running adventure involved mud, stream crossings and big smiles. When pushed to your limits life is good. I also saw a handsome fellow at mile 23 or a trail marathon.


  3. on 23 Mar 2010 at 9:41 pm Sarah

    My latest running adventure was completing 35 miles at the Pac Rim One Day race this past weekend.

  4. on 24 Mar 2010 at 7:34 am Donald Rice

    After 3 50Ks, 5 50s, a 100k, 2 100s, and a stage race of 113 miles, I recieved my first DNF at my last running adventure this past weekend at the Grasslands 50. The conditions were horrible: rain made the already saturated trail into a muddy mess, temperatures were around 30’s and 20’s throughout the day, the wind made it even feel colder. My wife was supposed to run that day, but she was recovering from a cold so we decided that I would take her place, knowing that I was registered for a 113 mile mountain bike race the following day. I was hesistant upon the task from the beginning. It was raining on my way up to the race, my feet were instantly wet and muddy on the way to packet pick up, and there was not a dry, clean spot to get ready. In addition, as I was walking up the long muddy road to packet pick up, I saw a stream of lights bouncing along the trail which happened to be the 50 mile runners. I was about 15-20 minutes late. “Suck it up!”, I said to myself and by the time I knew what happened, I was on the trail running. Ten hours and 15 minutes later, I came in cold, tired, and mud-soaked with the race director, Kevin, waiting for me to say that I missed the cut-off by 14 minutes. Surprisingly, I was not disappointed. I ran a tough race, only five made the cut-off, and I was happy with my performance. In hindsight, I am glad I chose to run that race because it became a running adventure to remember.

  5. on 24 Mar 2010 at 8:01 am David Hanenburg

    @Dylan – What a fun trail. I can’t believe I didn’t explore those areas more when I was a kid.

    @Patton – Dude, you have clay on your nose. 😉

    @Sarah – Awesome. Great run Sarah!

    @Donald – That was a wild day and sounds like you made the best of it. You were obviously meant to be 15-20 minutes late in starting or you would have had yourself another 10 miles of running. 🙂 Did you end up doing the bike race the next day or was it cancelled?

  6. on 24 Mar 2010 at 8:19 am Duane C

    I would like to be entered into the drawing. My latest adventure- running at the grand canyon. We when out there for spring break. Amazing!! We did several hikes into the canyon and ran the rim trail. Also spent some time in Flagstaff and was able to run the Mt Eldersen trail. Great times.

    I also noticed that your TALON race guide was linked to IRUNFAR. Way to go.


  7. on 25 Mar 2010 at 7:39 am mike

    …just back from the Bataan Death March… over in White Sands Missile Range… bunch of crazy folk doing a marathon with 35# packs on their back! It was interesting… but looking forward to getting back to my regular trails.

  8. on 25 Mar 2010 at 10:39 am David Hanenburg

    @Duane C – The Grand Canyon sounds like a blast. It is definitely on my to-do list. I really like the Flagstaff area as well.
    I better send Bryon his check. 😉

    @Mike – Congrats on that unique experience! Local ultra nut, Dave E., was also out there getting it done.

  9. on 25 Mar 2010 at 3:39 pm Jeff L

    Just finished the Bataan Death March marathon as well, was a great experience to shake the survivor’s hand at the start and as well as the finish. Very much not a race, I really liked it.

  10. on 26 Mar 2010 at 5:56 am Jackie Spiller

    My latest running adventure was running an entire 5 miles pain-free after being off 3 weeks due to tarsal tunnel syndrome and a heel spur.

  11. on 26 Mar 2010 at 8:58 pm David Hanenburg

    @Jeff L – Also a huge congrats on the Bataan finish! Truly an experience.

    @Jackie – Yeah! Great to hear you are back to pain-free running. It has to feel good. I am still stuck in the 3-4 mile range…some day.